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Details: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
The Crops Research Institute (CRI) of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has released four new yam varieties. They are Afaase Adepa, Afaase Hoodenfoo, Afaase Biri and Afaase Soanyinto.
The new varieties, which have been tried and evaluated for over 10 years, are said to be very nutritious, high yielding and pest resistant, can be used for ice-cream and noodles and safe for diabetic patients.
At a programme to officially introduce the new varieties in Kumasi last Tuesday, the leader of the 11-member team that worked on the new yam varieties, Dr Emmanuel Otoo, explained that the new varieties were improved versions of the water yam currently on the market.
He said research conducted on the new varieties had shown that they could be used as a substitute for white yam which is widely consumed in the country and also be used for other products such as ice-cream and noodles and even in the cosmetic industry for body cream.
According to him, there is a high market demand for the varieties in the sub-region and mentioned countries such as Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Cote d’Ivoire where water yam is in high demand.
Dr Otoo said even though demand for water yam was low in the country, there was a high demand for it in neighbouring countries, and as such “Ghana can easily produce the seedlings to supply them”.
He said the new yam varieties could be used for all forms of food and had very high starch content.
He said the new Afaase varieties had health benefits and could be used by diabetic patients, adding that aside from that, they were cheaper and highly profitable when cultivated on a commercial scale.
He appealed to the government to support the institute to produce seedlings of the new varieties to feed into the government’s ‘Planting for Food and Jobs’ programme.
Some of the harvested varieties of the yam at the barn. Pictures: Kwadwo Baffoe Donkor
SOURCE: Graphic Online